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Upcycle Exhibition

The team from Hoven have been invited to participate in an exhibition and maker's challenge titled 'Upcycle: Office Furniture Reimagined'. The project is being held at Makers Landing at the V&A Waterfront on 19 and 20 April 2024. It is being hosted by Tetris Design & Build, Visi Magazine and the V&A Waterfront. This unique showcase will highlight how design has the potential to shape a more conscious workspace.

You can read more about the exhibition in an article by Visi Magazine here.

The brief for the project was to repurpose old office furniture in a proposal that demonstrates a possible future for the workplace.

Hoven imagines the ‘future of work’ according to a job description set in the year 2050. The central character for their Upcycle Project is a naturalist of the next generation, known as a ‘Climate Restoration Engineer (CRE)’. The team at Hoven believe that in the future, remote working could evolve further into an enhanced type of specialized fieldwork.

‘The decentralised workforce of the future will rely heavily on a mobile toolkit, which is housed in a customised ‘cabinette’ (or miniature work cabin). This functions as a base station to perform tasks in the field. In the case of the Climate Restoration Engineer, the cabinette is an indigenous seed library, an herbarium for preserved plant specimens, and a mobile apiary for the rehabilitation of insects.’

– Nisha van der Hoven, Director of Hoven Design.

Upcycled materials include wire cable-trays reimagined as containers for plants, a repurposed roller-credenza door that opens the top of the 'cabinette' to the sky, and discarded metal screens that give the piece its robust structure. Salvaged Perspex screens have been laser cut and clamped together to hold pressed flowers and upcycled MDF timber were CNC cut from disused acoustic panels to form the arched framework for the piece.

Concept sketch for the proposed 'Cabinette'

Fabrics reclaimed from disused acoustic panels have also been reconstituted to create a custom fieldwork PPE garment, which includes an upcycled riot helmet recovered from an abandoned furniture storeroom.

The team have catalogued and coded each piece of upcycled furniture, and documented the process in an Operator’s Manual, which will be on display at the exhibition.

In terms if of the event, there will be a student-focused day on 19 April and a walkabout with the artists and designers on Saturday 20 April at 11h00, which will be led by Heath Nash of Circular Squared. A designer and serial social entrepreneur, he has been ardently advancing the notion of waste as value since 2004.

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